Islamic Jihad slams Abbas for Netanyahu handshake

GAZA, (PIC)– Islamic Jihad Movement slammed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for shaking hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the United Nations Climate Change Summit held in Paris.

Head of the Islamic Jihad Political Bureau Daoud Shehab said, in a statement on Tuesday, “The blood of martyrs in Occupied Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza curses that handshake with such a criminal killer.” He warned that it might indicate returning back to negotiations.

Shehab underlined that “the Palestinian people who is defending the Aqsa Mosque rejects all forms of relationships and normalization with the Israeli occupation under any circumstances.”

Shehab called on Arabs and Muslims to work effectively on spreading the boycott of Israel and exposing its crimes instead of normalization.

The Islamic Jihad leader Shehab stressed on the fact that supporting the Palestinian Question requires ending all relations with the Israeli occupation. The continuation of relations gives Israel the green light to practice terrorism and aggression against the Palestinian people, he underlined.
(Source / 01.12.2015)

Israeli forces detain 4 Palestinians in East Jeursalem

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stormed the occupied East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya early on Tuesday, detaining four Palestinians, two of whom were teenagers, the detainees’ lawyer told Ma’an.Muhammad Mahmoud, a lawyer with prisoners’ rights group Addameer, identified the four as 14-year-old Yazan Ubeid, 19-year-old Nuiddin Ubeid, Salam Ubeid, 24, and Muhammad Salamah, 22.He said that Israeli forces had ransacked their homes before detaining them. The day before saw heavy clashes in Issawiya after Israeli forces raided the village’s Abu Riyala area.Separately on Tuesday, Israeli authorities extended the detention of prisoner 36-year-old Ahmad al-Wawi from Silwan in East Jerusalem by a further two years, the Jerusalem branch of the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs told Ma’an.Al-Wawi was initially sentenced to 13 years in prison, but his detention was extended after Israeli authorities accused him of attempting to persuade an Israeli prison guard to help him smuggle a mobile phone into his cell in Israel’s Negev jail.The prisoners’ committee said that Israel’s central court in Jerusalem had also given prison sentences to three Palestinians from East Jerusalem after they were convicted of establishing an “armed group.”Jalal Kayid Qutub, 23, was sentenced to 13 years, Muhammad Majdi Shaer to four years, and Ahmad Hijazi Bazlamit, 28 to three years, the committee said. They were all detained in 2013.Israeli forces have conducted hundreds of detention raids in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October.In October alone, just short of 1,000 Palestinians, including 147 children, were detained by Israeli forces, according to Addameer.Even before the current unrest, Israeli forces had conducted an average of 78 “search and arrest operations” in the occupied West Bank this year, according to UN figures.

(Source / 01.12.2015)

Clashes in East Jerusalem Following Raids, Settler Vandalism near Bethlehem

Clashes broke out between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces during raids in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Silwan and al-Issawiya, on Monday. Late Sunday, Israeli extremist settlers sprayed Anti-Arab graffiti on a car near Bethlehem, pledging to kill Palestinians in the area, according to local sources.

Oost Jerusalem

Israeli forces raided the Ras al-Amoud, al-Thuri, Ein al-Lawza and Beir Ayyoub areas of Silwan, Majdi Abbasi of the Wadi Hilweh Information Center said.

During the Silwan raids, clashes broke out and Israeli forces fired stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters, Abbasi said.

An Israeli police spokesperson did not provide comment on the raid or subsequent clashes. Locals in Silwan said Israeli forces surrounded an area near the family home of 17-year-old Ayman Abbasi, who was shot dead by Israeli forces on Sunday during clashes in the neighborhood. Witnesses said Israeli forces shouted curses at the boy’s family.

All businesses and institutions in the neighborhood were closed on Monday in mourning of the 17-year-old’s death.

Israeli forces also raided the Abu Riyala area of the al-Issawiya neighborhood, leading to clashes between local youth and Israeli forces, a member of the local monitoring committee in the village Muhammad Abu al-Homos said.

In addition to raids and clashes, Israeli forces entered the Jabal al-Mukaber neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem to finish a home demolition that took place earlier last month at the request of the family of Ghassan Abu Jamal, whose home was destroyed last month in a punitive home demolition. Abu Jamal was shot dead along with his cousin, Uday, after they killed four Israelis in a high-profile attack on a synagogue in November last year.

Israeli forces demolished the family home of Abu Jamal on Oct. 6 just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a new process to expedite home demolitions.

The family said that following the punitive demolition, walls of the family home were still left standing. The Abu Jamal family told Ma’an News Agency they filed a complaint requesting the Israeli army fully demolish the house, as it posed a a safety hazard to people in the area in its half demolished state.

— —

Mohammad Atallah, mayor of Beit Eskarya village, south of Bethlehem, said settlers from the nearby illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc broke into the village and sprayed anti Arab graffiti such as, “Death to Arabs” on the car of a local Palestinian villager, before they slashed one of its tires.

Furthermore, settlers hung the Israeli flag on vine trees in land belonging to local Palestinians in the area, according to WAFA.

Atallah said the village has been a frequent target of daily violence by Jewish settlers from nearby settlements.

Violence by illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank is commonplace. They have repeatedly attacked Palestinian property and worship places. Settler violence includes property and mosque arsons, stone-throwing, uprooting of crops and olive trees, attacks on vulnerable homes, among others.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, “Israeli security forces do not always deploy in advance to protect Palestinians from settler violence, even when such violence could be anticipated. “In some cases, rather than restricting violent settlers, Israeli security forces impose restrictions on the Palestinians.”

On July 31, a group of Jewish fanatics attacked with fire bombs the home of Dawabsheh family in Nablus’ village of Duma. The attack left 4-year-old Ahmad orphaned, after his toddler brother, Ali, father, Sa’ed and mother, Reham, lost their lives.

According to OCHA Protection of Civilians Weekly report covering the period between 3 and 9 of November 2015, “At least four Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians and their property were recorded in the H2 area of Hebron city, including the physical assault of a 15-year-old boy by a group of settlers, and, on three separate occasions, stone-throwing at Palestinian houses and threatening of families in the area of Jabal Johar, and Tel Rumeida by settlers from the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba’, in the presence of Israeli forces.”

(Source / 01.12.2015)

Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged knife attack in Gush Etzion

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian teenage boy was shot dead by Israeli forces in the illegal settlement bloc of Gush Etzion on Tuesday morning after he allegedly attempted to attack a settler with a knife, Israel’s army said.An Israeli army spokesperson said that Israeli forces shot and killed the boy when he “attempted to attack a pedestrian” using a knife at a main road junction in the settlement bloc, which sprawls across the southern West Bank district of Bethlehem.The Palestinian was identified as 16-year-old Mamoun al-Khatib from the village of Doha in Bethlehem district.

He did not wound any Israelis before he was shot dead, the Israeli army spokesperson said. She said that one Israeli bystander was lightly wounded by a ricocheting bullet fired by Israeli forces.The Gush Etzion junction has been the site of several deadly encounters since a wave of unrest swept the occupied Palestinian territory at the beginning of October.At least five Palestinians have now been shot dead there after allegedly attempting to carry out attacks, while two Israelis and one Palestinian bystander were killed in a shooting last month, with the shooters later arrested.After a third Israeli, a 21-year-old woman, was stabbed to death there last week, Israel barred Palestinians from entering the individual settlements that constitute the Gush Etzion bloc, which is home to more than 90,000 settlers.An estimated 2,000 Palestinians work in the settlement bloc south of Bethlehem.More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of October — many shot dead under circumstances in which rights groups said that Israeli forces used unnecessary force — while 19 Israelis have been killed in the same period.
(Source / 01.12.2015)

Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 Palestinians in Hebron

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians in the Tel Rumeida area of Hebron on Tuesday evening, locals and Israel’s army said.Witnesses said three youths were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers in Tel Rumeida, with one said to be in a serious condition with gunshot wounds to the abdomen

He was transferred to hospital for treatment. Two other Palestinians were shot in their legs, witnesses said.Another unidentified youth was also reportedly detained as Israeli forces raided homes in the area.An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers opened fire at a group of Palestinians who were hurling a Molotov cocktail at a military post.”The forces fired towards the perpetrators, who fled the scene. Hits were confirmed and later on in searches the forces found Molotov cocktails,” the spokesperson added.Earlier Tuesday, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.In Tulkarem, an Israeli military officer shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint saying that she had attempted to stab him.Shortly before, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli forces in the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli settler.More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of October, more than a quarter of whom were children.While Israel alleged many of those were attempting to attack Israelis when they were shot, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel’s version of events in a number of cases.The attacks that have taken place — claiming the lives of 19 Israelis — have been accompanied by a wave of popular unrest that has swept the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.
(Source / 01.12.2015)

Islamic State extends its tentacles into Yemen

A Houthi militant stands outside al-Nour mosque in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, Oct. 7, 2015. Seven people were killed in a suicide bombing on the mosque; the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack

ADEN, Yemen — Yemen’s civil war is allowing the Islamic State (IS) to expand its presence there. Amid the spread of extremism engendered by the conflict between the Houthis and the central government, IS is becoming the main adversary for both the Houthis and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

IS is strengthening its footprint in the northern, Houthi-controlled governorates and is making progress in the south, although al-Qaeda remains the dominant force there.

Attacks by armed pro-IS groups rose in October, after they pledged allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the capital, Sanaa, and other cities in the country’s south and southeast. As a result, their activities gained an added dimension, as they attempted to impose themselves as effective instigators of violence on the Yemeni scene. These groups attacked government troops as well as those they describe as Shiite, Iran-backed Houthis.

IS executed its largest two operations in Yemen in October: when it claimed responsibility for a car bomb attack against the residence of the president and members of the Yemeni Cabinet at the al-Qasr Hotel in Aden, and when it targeted a camp for Emirati troops, part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.

IS launched its efforts in Yemen back in March, when the organization bombed two Shiite Houthi mosques in Sanaa, leading to the death of Houthi command figures and religious leaders, most notably Imam al-Murtada bin Zaid al-Mahtouri and Mohammad Abdelmalek al-Shami.

In April, IS beheaded four Yemeni soldiers and executed 11 others by firing squad in the southern governorate of Shabwah. By releasing a video of the carnage, IS clearly demonstrated the strategy of savagery espoused in its strongholds and the adoption of the same methodology and media strategy by its branches in Yemen.

The organization’s operations reached their peak in June, when IS conducted seven operations against what it described as “Shiite Houthi places of worship” in Sanaa. Those attacks killed and wounded about 100 people, mostly Houthi supporters.

On June 17, the IS branch in Yemen also claimed responsibility for four attacks in Sanaa targeting Houthi religious sites and buildings. The attacks killed 31 and wounded a number of others. On June 20, a booby-trapped car exploded next to the Houthi Qubbat al-Mahdi mosque in Old Sanaa, killing and wounding a number of people.

About the same time, IS took responsibility for a car bomb in a Houthi-controlled security quadrant in Sanaa, which killed and wounded a number of Houthis. On June 29, an attack by IS on the houses of two Houthi leaders in Sanaa left at least 28 dead or wounded, including eight women.

In Aden, IS executed a number of Houthi snipers July 18.

The growing level of violence is strengthening IS and putting it on a direct collision course to replace AQAP as flag bearer for the Holy War against their enemies. Both groups seek to take advantage of political and sectarian instability. As a result, the influence — even the mere existence — of the Ayman al-Zawahri-led al-Qaeda is threatened.

IS’ combat tactics rely on taking control of a specific geographic region, as was the case in Iraq and Syria, as a prelude to launching attacks against other areas — a feat it has failed to accomplish so far in Yemen. Yet, it succeeded in establishing training camps for its combatants in mountainous regions of southern Yemen. IS revealed that feat in a November statement detailing how its troops, trained in the southern city of Lahej, attacked a government military camp in Hadramaut.

In parallel, disputes erupted between the two organizations following the assassination of a number of high-ranking AQAP leaders in drone attacks. Most prominent among those killed was the organization’s emir in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Basir Nasser al-Wuhayshi, killed June 12. His death led to both groups trading Twitter-based accusations of treason and misrepresentation of the jihadi cause. These disputes threaten to grow into direct clashes, as occurred in Syria.

However, to date, no direct, physical clashes have been reported between al-Qaeda and IS in Yemen. The dispute has remained confined to verbal barbs and the avoidance of armed confrontations. Yet, that could change dramatically due to the increased level of political and military competition between the two, particularly as both share animosity toward the Houthis and Shiites in general.

Furthermore, there are indications that a number of AQAP members have defected to IS. Al-Qaeda’s late leadership figure in Yemen, Maamoun Hatem, was reputed to be one of the most eager to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi. When Hatem was killed May 11 in an American drone attack, some IS members tweeted eulogies — a phenomenon that was repeated in July when al-Qaeda singer/chanter Abu Hajar al-Hadrami was killed in a drone attack in Mukalla in July.

The number of IS combatants is kept secret, as are their locations or hideouts — particularly in light of them successfully infiltrating the security measures of coalition and government forces in Aden, as well as the strict security measures adopted by the Houthis in Sanaa.

These successes are the result of IS enjoying some popular support in predominantly Sunni areas (such as Shabwah, Al-Bayda, Lahej and Taiz), and especially in areas that have suffered the atrocities of the Houthis and their allies, who perpetrated human rights violations against unarmed civilians. The IS-affiliated factions thus are welcomed as protectors from such transgressions.

This all could lead to disaster for Yemen.

In the midst of the rapid changes taking place in Yemen, the emergence of IS’ branch there has caused widespread controversy. Yet, accusations that supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime are backing the IS expansion, seeking to shuffle the cards on the Yemeni scene, seem to be nothing more than unfounded political mudslinging.

Nabeel al-Bakeiri, a Yemeni researcher of Islamic factions, told Al-Monitor that the expansion of IS is more media propaganda than fact. He said there are numerous examples, particularly that “none of al-Qaeda’s prominent leaders had pledged allegiance to Baghdadi.”

The chances of armed clashes between al-Qaeda and IS in Yemen remain slim indeed for now, as the latter is still in a mobilization and preparation phase and thus unable to confront al-Qaeda militarily. But a repeat of the Syrian scenario remains possible in light of the battle for influence that rages between them, while taking into account that their shared hostility for the Houthis may delay any such clashes.

(Source / 01.12.2015)

Israel to approve the largest settlement project in al-Buraq plaza

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Before his travel to Paris, Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu decided to reconsider his earlier decision to suspend approval for a building project planned for al-Buraq plaza in al-Aqsa Mosque.

The move comes to pave the way for the project’s final approval.

The controversial project of Beit Haliba is considered one of the largest settlement projects in occupied Jerusalem. The Israeli District Committee for Planning and Building has discussed the plan for three hours without revealing any details due to its sensitivity.

Well-informed sources said that a final approval is expected to be given for the plan during Tuesday’s supplementary session.

The Beit Haliba settlement project includes the construction of an office building, a tourist center, and museum at al-Buraq plaza at the expense of al-Magaribah Quarter that was demolished on 1967.

The plan was earlier proposed in 2012 by the Israeli National Planning and Building Council; however, Netanyahu’s Office pulled the permit ahead of the council’s vote due to the security situation at that time.

Palestinian groups have voiced their strong opposition to and appealed against the Israeli project as it would be a violation of the status quo around the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

(Source / 01.12.2015)

Two martyrs on Tuesday morning alone

Maram Ramez Abdul Hassouna and Ma’amoun al-Khatib.

Maram Ramez Abdul Hassouna and Ma’amoun al-Khatib

This morning the IOF shot dead two young Palestinians.

Less than a year after being released from the Israeli jail, Maram Ramez Abdul Hassouna became a martyr this morning.

Maram, 20, was from Rafidia in Nablus. She was shot dead with several bullets by the IOF in a military checkpoint east of Tulkarem this morning.

According to eyewitnesses, the Israeli occupation forces prevented the Red Crescent team to have access to her and also detained her body. Now, the number of martyrs body’s detained by the IOF increased to 40.

According to family sources, Maram was a first year student at An-Najah University and taught English. She was arrested by the occupation forces in October 2013 on charges of carrying a knife near the same military checkpoint she was executed today. She was released 7 months afterwards.

Israeli sources claimed she reached the checkpoint carrying a knife, so the Israeli soldiers fired at her. However, witnesses said that the checkpoint was “empty of soldiers” and that the shooting came from a military tower at the checkpoint.

Earlier this morning, the occupation forces killed Mamoun al-Khatib, 16, near the Gush Etzion illegal junction, south of Bethlehem, claiming he tried to stab a settler.

He was left bleeding on the ground and died from his wounds. Israeli media reported that the IOF accidentally shot and injured a settler in his arm, but no one was injured in the reported “stabbing attack”.

According to family sources, Mamoun lived in Doha with his family and was the eldest son. He was currently in the tenth grade at school.

With their martyrdom’s, the number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli occupation forces since the beginning of October raised to 108, among 40 children and 5 women.

(Source / 01.12.2015)

Iraq War A ‘Huge Error’ Says Former Top Intelligence Chief

Michael Flynn says the US blinded by emotions of 9/11.

Lt. General Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in 2014. The Army general led the Defense Intelligence Agency before retiring. (AP Photo)

Lt. General Michael Flynn testifies on Capitol Hill in 2014. The Army general led the Defense Intelligence Agency before retiring

The former top US Special Forces chief claimed on Sunday that blinding emotion after the 9/11 attacks led the United States and its allies to take the wrong strategic decisions to counter al-Qaeda, calling the subsequent Iraq War a “huge error.” The admission by Michael Flynn, made to German newspaper Der Spiegel, comes as British MPs prepare to vote on extending the UK’s bombing campaign against the Islamic State into Syriafollowing the massacre in Paris.

Flynn, the highest-ranking military intelligence officer during the Obama administration, and commander of the US Special Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush regime, said, “all the emotions took over” after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. “Our response was, ‘Where did those bastards come from? Let’s go kill them. Let’s go get them.’ Instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from. Then we strategically marched in the wrong direction.”

“Instead of asking ourselves why the phenomenon of terror occurred, we were looking for locations,” he reflected. “This is a major lesson we must learn in order not to make the same mistakes again.” The 56-year-old told the newspaper he regretted the Iraq War, agreeing that the Islamic State would not be where it is today had the US and its allies not intervened.

“It was huge error,” he said. “As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him. The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.”

Flynn was also critical of the handling of current Isis leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who the US had in custody in 2004, but released, calling him a “low-level” prisoner. “We were too dumb,” he said. “We didn’t understand who we had there at the moment.”

(Source / 01.12.2015)

IOF soldiers execute Palestinian girl in cold-blood

TULKAREM, (PIC)– Israeli occupation forces (IOF) killed a 15-year-old Palestinian girl in cold-blood on Tuesday morning.

Hebrew newspaper Ma’ariv website said that the soldiers shot and killed the girl after she tried to stab one of them at Anaba roadblock to the east of Tulkarem.

Eyewitnesses said that the IOF soldiers blocked Palestinian ambulance crews from reaching the minor until an Israeli ambulance arrived and took away her body.

The Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) in Tulkarem announced that the girl, whose identity was not known yet, was shot in the head, adding that the Israeli occupation authorities refused to deliver her body to the PRC.

(Source / 01.12.2015)